The state of California hit record cuts in water waste during May, according to new reports. Conservation targets have been surpassed and a profound behavioral change underpins the success of the drought-stricken state.
Water use dropped considerably, beyond the expectations suggested with the state imposed targets coming from Governor Jerry Brown.
Drought seems to be increasingly understood as both an environmental and societal challenge in the state California. Thus, residents understood that perhaps the luxury of lush vegetation or hot tubs fade in the face of wasting a life-supporting resource, water.
The overall numbers released on Wednesday indicate that not only have the state’s conservation targets been met, but also surpassed. Water use declined with an overall 28.9 percent compared to the 2013 baseline. The target imposed by Governor Jerry Brown was set at 25 percent.
Leaders in the report were the Bay Area which cut water use by 31.9 percent. Hillsborough cut water waste by 49 percent, an astonishing achievement for a town that was renowned as a water hog.
Los Angeles and San Diego saw cuts in water use that reached one quarter according to the report.
The report came from the State Water Resources Control Board of California. Their efforts in tracking conservation across California set off last summer. Since then, this is the steepest cut in water use.
It has been four years since drought impacted California. May 2015 seems to have been an unusual rainy month, which might be one factor that led to the skewing of water use. Nonetheless, awareness levels and social debate have played a key role undoubtedly.
Felicia Marcus, the chairwoman of the State Water Resources Control Board stated:
“It’s gratifying that far more communities are stepping up, and we want to see this much more through the summer. It’s just being prudent”.
Voluntary savings may have also played a role in the steep drop. And while they were criticized by some as being unfair and overly ambitious, they seem to have delivered nonetheless.
Looking forward, state officials have counted that a strict eye will be kept on water use in Southern California to assess whether the record May savings in water use are indeed a change driven by community attitudes or simply improving meteorological conditions.
Throughout the South Coast region, the general temperatures registered five degrees less compared to the same month in 2012.
An additional half inch of rain was observed as well, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data.
Image Source: theenergycollective.com